A few days ago, the UK government has revealed that businesspersons from Turkey, and their families, that are using the well-known visa program won’t be able to submit requests for indefinite visa extensions. They had this option before this latest change and many of them have used it.
Namely, the United Kingdom won’t accept applications for ILR visas, or indefinite leave to remain, from Turkish nationals who are in the UK on ECAA business visas. This change was announced publicly by the Home Office. The ministry has added that they will present the new immigration rules where Turkish ECAA business persons will find a brand new ILR category. But, this is only for the current ECAA holders.
This unexpected change came after a court in the UK had a ruling in a case involving an application submitted by the wide of a Turkish citizen. So, the Home Office had to make a public announcement pointing out that the Home Office and the UK won’t accept applications for ILR under the Turkish ECAA (European Communities Association Agreement) business person category anymore.
The decision of the tribunal has highlighted the fact that the settlement of Turkish citizens and their families didn’t fall within the articles that are part of the European Community Association Agreement with Turkey.
According to the Home Office, the applications until March 16th will continue to be accepted and people who want to stay in the UK and continue their stay under the Ankara Agreement visa will have a chance to apply for visa extensions. This extension can reach up to 3 years and it can be extended an unlimited number of times as long as the applicant meets the requirements. The good news is that all these applications will continue to be free of charge.
The same guidelines revealed by the Home Office say that every ECAA settlement application that was submitted before March 16th will be reviewed under the old terms. The information we have has confirmed that the ECAA businesspersons’ visa system has proven to be a very popular system. Today, over 20,000 Turkish citizens are now living in the United Kingdom under the popular Ankara Agreement. Before this latest change, Turkish nationals were able to apply for a visa that lasts for one year which could’ve been followed by a visa that lasts for 3 years under the ECAA scheme. After this period, these Turkish nationals had the right to apply for an ILR visa.
The aforementioned Ankara Agreement was signed in 1963 in the capital city of Turkey between the EEC (European Economic Community) and Turkey. It was obvious that this visa scheme will eventually be changed and modified because the circumstances are changed now. For instance, the United Kingdom is about to leave the European Union, but all these agreements that were accepted in the past will be respected. For more information about these latest changes, feel free to contact us at any time.